About four women are laying claims to the ownership of six-year-old boy identified as Elijah Tanko, a Sahara Reporter’s report shows.
The report says an Independent Investigation Panel (IPP) set up by the Nigerian government, to look into the activities of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other units of the police on Monday ordered the conduct of a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test to ascertain the biological mother of the boy.
According to the Chairman of the panel being coordinated by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Justice Suleiman Galadima (rtd), the DNA test will be conducted by an independent expert to be engaged by the commission.
One of the four women claiming to be the boy’s mother is Esther Tanko.
She had petitioned the panel, saying the young boy was abducted on September 9, 2019, while she was returning from work.
The police officer who handled the case, Inspector Desmond Habila, told the panel that the boy was recovered in Abia State from one Ifeoma Eboniyi and Emmanuel Onyekwere, who are allegedly members of a child abduction syndicate.
Habila said the boy was sold to one Uloma in November 2019 by Ifeoma.
Following the report, the police identified the other three women laying claim to the child as Ifeyinwa Vera, Rosemary Chidiebere and Jumui Muniat.
Mrs. Tanko attended the panel’s sittings, testified and tendered exhibits but the three other women failed to show up.
The exhibits she tendered include a birth certificate, polio vaccination card and a photograph of the boy, the report says.
She testified that she reported the abduction of her child at the Bwari police division in Abuja, identifying the kidnapers as a woman and a man, and added that they fled in a car after kidnapping the child.
Mrs Tanko said she later saw her son paraded by the police on television as a child recovered from child traffickers.
She however said she could not claim her child from the police as she was told three other women laid claim to the same child.
The panel adjourned the case till November 19 for the report of the DNA test, directing the NHRC to engage experts to conduct the DNA test.